One of the most used quotes in sports is, “Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.”
Analy was both as they defeated Cardinal Newman 33-30 to advance to the semi-finals of the NCS Division 3 football playoffs.
The luck came with the game on the line and Cardinal Newman in a least position for a game tying field goal with 2:30 left, a bad snap in shotgun formation on a third and four play was recovered by Analy and one first down later Analy was headed for the NCS Semi-Final round.
The good was everything else about a fabulous high school football game, which includes both sides.
It started with coaching. Analy Head Coach Dan Bourdon knew that Kevin Lucey had turned several games this season with long kickoff returns. He wasn’t going to let that happen in this game. The kickoffs were a variety of squib kicks. The first one bounced around and a big hit caused a fumble and gave the Tigers the ball at the 11 yard line.
The good was also about running back Ja’Narrick James who would remind us about what good is all night. He started it off with a six yard run and the game wasn’t even a minute old and Analy had a 7-0 lead.
The other good was Cardinal Newman, led by quarterback Keaton Dunsford, who helped keep it a game all night. He passed for 299 yards and a touchdown and also rushed for a season high 87 yards.
One of the defining moments of the games came right before halftime. The game’s momentum was swinging Cardinal Newman’s way. After a six yard run by James gave Analy a 21-7 lead with 11 minutes left in the half. Cardinal Newman then went on an eleven play drive to score to cut the lead to 21-14 with two minutes left in the half.
After a three and out, Cardinal Newman was driving in the last minute of the first half when Trent Ackerman intercept his first pass of the season to give Analy the ball at its own 35 with :30 left.
Two 35 yard swing passes to Johnson later gave him his third touchdown of the half and Analy a 27-14 halftime lead.
That set up a trilling second half that the momentum went back and forth. Analy did everything they could to keep the ball away from Cardinal Newman including faking a punt on a fourth and ten play from its own 39 and an onside kick after Johnson’s fourth touchdown which gave them a 33-23 lead with 8:48 left.
Both failed and after the onside kick, Analy held on for dear life. Dunsford threw a touchdown pass to Jeff Rebello with 5:33 left to cut the lead to 33-30.
Cardinal Newman’s defense held on three plays and had the ball at its own 26 with 4:15 left and needing a field goal to force overtime. They were in position to do that in one play when Dunsford hit Kasey Mansen on a 55 yard pass play to move the ball to the Analy 19.
Two plays later came the bad snap and after three straight runs by James cinched the game and an Analy celebration.
James, who had cramp issues most of the night, put some pain on Cardinal Newman rushing for 158 yards on 27 carries and caught four balls for 73 yards. The numbers together was 70 percent of the Analy offense.
No. 4 Montgomery 41 No. 5 Concord 22
No. 2 Clayton Valley Charter 59 Las Lomas 13
No. 9 Windsor (6-5) at No. 1 Casa Grande (11-0)
CAL PREPS PROJECTION: Casa Grande by 17
No. 6 Northgate (9-2) at No. 3 Miramonte (9-2)
CAL PREPS PROJECTION: Miramonte by 7
Montgomery had a combination of things going on in its win over Concord.
The biggest combination was running back Logan Francavilla, who picked a good time to hit the 200 yard mark for the first time this season going for 205 yards on thirty carries. It is the second time this season that he has carried the ball at least 30 times.
That wasn’t it all about the win for Montgomery, who goes to 10-2. In between RJ Flores threw three touchdown passes to three different receivers as the Vikings hit the 40 point mark for the first time since September 21st when they defeated Washington 40-0 which at the time raised its record to 3-0.
Then there was the Montgomery defense who came within one 64 yard pass play from shutting out a Concord team that averages nearly 40 points a game in the second half.
Concord held a 16-14 lead at the half when Flores threw two touchdown passes in the third quarter to give Montgomery the lead for good.
In the fourth quarter they gave the ball to Francavilla who scored the last two touchdowns.
The Viking win assures that an NBL team will be in the NCS Division 2 championship game. Montgomery will meet the winner of tonight’s Windsor-Casa Grande game in the semi-final.
Clayton Valley Charter had 500 yards of total offense in its win over Las Lomas. Running back Miles Harrison rushed for 297 yards and scored four touchdowns including runs of 56 and 60 in his first three carries in the first quarter.
No. 4 Analy 33 No. 5 Cardinal Newman 30
No. 2 Campolindo 38 No. 7 Acalanes 14
No. 8 Eureka (9-2) at No. 1 Marin Catholic (10-0)—1 PM
CAL PREPS PROJECTION: Marin Catolic by 40
No. 11 Novato (5-6) vs. No. 3 El Cerrito (9-2) at DeAnza High School
CAL PREPS PROJECTION: El Cerrito by 35
Cardinal Newman season ends at 8-4 with all four losses to teams that are still playing in the NCS playoffs.
The win was by far the closest of Analy’s nine game winning streak and raises its record to 11-1. They will go to the NCS Division 3 semi-final for the second straight season. They will meet the winner of today’s Eureka-Marin Catholic game next weekend.
Andrew Zolintakis threw for 238 yards and two touchdowns to lead Campolindo over Acalanes. Campolindo is now 11-0 on the season.
No. 5 St. Mary’s 24 No. 4 St. Helena 7
No. 2 Fortuna 48 No. 10 Piedmont 10
No. 9 Piner (6-5) at No. 1 San Marin (8-2)…1 pm
CAL PREPS PROJECTION: San Marin by 26
No. 11 Del Norte (5-6) at No. 3 Healdsburg (6-4)
CAL PREPS PROJECTION: Healdsburg by 10
The St. Helena loss was part of a tough night for the NCL I. Actually the Saints would like to have a first quarter mulligan as they gave up three touchdowns.
St. Mary’s got a passing touchdown from Ian Bonde to get the first score in which they went 76 yards on the first drive of the game. A blocked punt set up touchdown number two and then Lorenzo Logwood scored on a 41 yard run to make it 21-0.
St. Helena drove twice inside the ten but came away with no points.
St. Helena ends the season 9-3.
St. Mary’s will meet the winner of today’s Piner-San Marin game.
No. 5 Salesian 21 No. 1 Middletown 13
No. 2 Valley Christian 34 No. 3 Ferndale 6
The Middletown nightmare continues.
That nightmare is Salesian.
For the third time in six years Salesian defeated Middletown in the NCS playoffs.
Middletown officially ends the season 10-2, the other loss was the forfeit loss to Salesian which began the season.
Salesian broke a 13-13 tie with 3:26 left and then Middletown drove to the 15 yard line in the last minute, but couldn’t score the tieing touchdown.
Salesian will meet Valley Christian in the NCS Division 5 championship game next week.
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